Book Review: Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is an exceptionally useful resource for leaders and clinicians (indeed, anyone) looking for a step-by-step guide to improving their, or their team’s, emotional intelligence. Inside each book is a password to an online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal Test, which allows readers to test their EI initially and then over time as they practice the skills proposed.
Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves’ Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is an accessible, practical guide to improved EI deeply rooted in psychology and neurology. As it progresses, it reveals to us how our brains work, why we are sometimes rational and sometimes overly emotional and what parts of the brain are working when these responses occur.
Its research-based practical advice aimed at the improvement of EI is not exclusive to EI; they are proven strategies for broad scale emotional and psychological well-being, which makes Emotional Intelligence 2.0 an exceptionally useful read for anyone, not just those trying to improve their, or their staff’s, EI in the workplace.
Indeed the 66 strategies in the book, which target self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management, are deeply rooted in mindfulness practice, derived from Buddhism and universally accepted now in Western psychology. Studies on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and mindfulness meditation reveal their power to change your brain by adapting and connecting neural pathways and synapses. Activities and behaviours rooted in mindfulness practice have been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, fear, and anger and increase attention, learning capability and more.
Some of the strategies suggested (which each target one of the four goals above) are:
- Monitor and chronicle your emotions
- Notice who and what pushes your buttons
- Lean into your discomfort
- Notice the connections between your emotions and physicality
- Breathe right
- Create an emotional versus reason checklist
- Make your goals public
- Take control of your self-talk
- Clean up your sleep hygiene
- Watch body language
- Clear away (mental) clutter
- Explain your decisions, don’t just make the decision
- Make your feedback direct and constructive
- Exercise and give your mind a breather
This section, broken up into self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management, is preceded by one in which each skill is embodied through an exemplary and deficient example. These excerpts have a person’s name, their self-awareness/self-management/social awareness/relationship management score (calculated by the online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal Test, password access to which is included in each book), and a description of that person’s skills, or lack thereof, by his or her co-workers.
An informative and practical guide to improving emotional intelligence AND overall well-being and happiness, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is easy to read, easy to implement and beneficial to all.